In Dead Water

cooler and heavier seawater sinking into the deep sea, often using and carving channels and canyons into the continental shelf. New research suggests that while climate change may not necessarily stop the major thermohaline currents, climate change may potentially reduce the intensity and frequency of the coastal flushing mechanisms, particularly at lower to me- dium latitudes over the next 100 years, which in turn will im- pact both nutrient and larval transport and increase the risk of pollution and dead zones. Increased development, coastal pollution and climate change impacts on ocean currents will accelerate the spreading of marine dead zones, many around or in primary fishing grounds The number of dead zones (hypoxic or oxygen deficient areas) increased from 149 in 2003 to over 200 in 2006. Given their association with pollutants from urban and agricultural sourc- es, together with the projected growth in coastal development, this number may multiply in a few decades, unless substantial changes in policy are implemented. Most dead zones, a few of which are natural phenomena, have been observed in coastal waters, which are also home to the primary fishing grounds.

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